12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 2: Baked Snickerdoodle Donuts

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I remember the first time I encountered a snickerdoodle. It was devastating. I was in 2nd grade at the time, and we were at a Christmas dinner, and the hosts were talking at length about a batch of  snickerdoodles, and how the recipe came from one of their grandmothers.

I was convinced that snickerdoodles were made from, what else, Snickers bars. I didn’t know what exactly these snickerdoodles would look like- cake, cookie, pie- but I just knew they had to have Snickers in them.

And then when the coffee was served I saw brown sugary cookies and I almost cried. How could snickerdoodles NOT have Snickers in them? I felt cheated, like when I got an oatmeal raisin cookie instead of chocolate chip. But that was then. I was 7 and didn’t know my way around the world of baking, and I assumed if it said snicker in the name, it had to have Snickers in the body. Continue reading

12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 1: Orange Almond Olive-Oil Cake

Have you ever come across a recipe that is so simple, yet seems to wow and impress the people around you each time you bake it? This is mine. It’s quick to prepare, travels well, (trust me- it’s travelled 3 hours on an expressway and from one end of Bombay to the other and hasn’t let me down!) and is a one-bowl affair that comes together in under fifteen minutes.

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My son’s hand got in the way

I found this recipe on Food52 when I was searching, very specifically, for an “almond and olive oil cake.” You see, after I made Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Olive Oil cake, I kinda went bonkers over oil-based cakes with ground almonds. Oil-based nut-flour cakes are lovely and dense; rich and nibbly.  I love the unpretentiousness of a loaf cake and the quirk of a cupcake, but olive-oil cakes have a more grown-up air about them. Plus, they have this amazing ability to come out nice, flat and even- which makes icing and slicing them a breeze. Continue reading

12 Weeks Of Christmas | Week 1: Streusel-Topped Rosemary Loaf Cake

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So here it is! The first in my 12 Weeks Of Christmas series. I’ve started with a plain cake- something that’s not overly fancy, not overly sweet, and definitely not cute like a gingerbread man. But I think you’ll like it…even if it isn’t all pretty and frosty. It’s the kind of cake you’d like to sit down to after dinner with a cup of coffee. The kind of cake you’d like to have with your post-breakfast coffee. The kind of cake you’d want to have because it’s raining or cold, or because you’re walking past it.

I’ve probably read the recipe for rosemary loaf cake in Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess a hundred times. The idea of taking rosemary, an herb used in savoury cooking, and baking it into a cake seemed….well, a little out of place. Rosemary and potatoes, to me, seemed like the perfect match- rosemary didn’t need to be anywhere near a cake. Just sit tight with your starchy spud-pal!

But then I began to think about all the desserts I like which have a sweet + spicy/savoury pairing.

♥ Chilli & chocolate…

♥ Salt & caramel…

♥ Strawberry & basil…

So why not combine rosemary with a little sugar? I was just being stupid, wrinkling my nose at the thought of rosemary in a cake. Continue reading